Welcome aboard your epic fifteen-stop world book tour! My name is Sarah, and I’m thrilled to be your tour guide for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. I can see you’ve brought quite a few bags along with you — brilliant, we’ll be encountering all kinds of weather on this adventure. And we might be doing some time travelling too!
Right, follow me just this way where we’ll be jumping aboard the 1.18pm train to Edinburgh. Say goodbye to London for now, but don’t worry, we’ll be back very soon so you can spend another day in this glorious city. Make sure you’ve got your first book handy, because we’ll have a lot of time on the train to read.
Oh, mind your step! Here, let me take that bag for you. God, what have you got in here? Fifteen books? Sounds about right!
Our seats are all here in this carriage, so grab any one you like and then we can go off and find some coffee or tea or whatever takes your fancy. As we get out of the city limits, you’ll start seeing green fields stretching out to the horizon, and the closer we get to Scotland, we’ll start to pass over some truly spectacular bridges.
Okay, I can see you’ve already taken out your book — excellent choice on that one — so I’ll shut up now and let you read!
City of Ghosts / Edinburgh, Scotland
Welcome to the lovely city of Edinburgh, AKA the home of Victoria Schwab’s City of Ghosts! How does it feel to have made it to Scotland? It’s getting dark, so follow me to the hotel to dump your bags and then we’re going to have a wander down a few of the main streets to find somewhere nice to go to dinner. There are some famous dishes you simply must try! Then we have a ghost tour booked, where we’ll have the chance to wander around some spooky castles and buildings. Hands up if you’re a Boogara! Hands up if you’re a Shaniac!
A Darker Shade of Magic / London, England
Wow, did anyone see any ghosts last night? That tour was pretty spooky! I hope you all had a relaxing journey back on the train, finished your first book, and are ready for a full day in London town. On the agenda for today is a guided tour around the Thames, where we’ll hear all the stories about the mythical Four Londons — Red London, Grey London, White London, and Black London — and how these four parallel worlds are magically linked. Then we’ll have some time to read Victoria Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic while we feast on some scones and tea in the afternoon.
The Gilded Wolves / Paris, France
Gooooood morning, everyone! I hope you had a nice evening last night watching Hamilton — how incredible was it?! I know it’s early, but this train will be completely worthwhile, because we’re exploring Paris! It’s only a short trip, but you have some time to get tucked into The Gilded Wolves, and then we’ll be heading out to see the Eiffle Tower and the Louvre. And, of course, we’ll spend the afternoon feasting on pastries and macarons. I hope you’re all hungry!
With the Fire on High / Madrid, Spain
Ahh, I’ll never get over how gorgeous Paris is. I think I ate about seventeen macarons though and I’m still feeling the sugar high. Now that we’ve just gotten off the plane, we’ve got the day to wander around Madrid! You might recognise some of the dishes from With the Fire on High, which you’ll have time to binge-read tonight after we check out the main sights. This is a new place for me too, so you’ll have to make sure we don’t get too lost!
Love & Gelato / Rome, Italy
Mmmm, smell that? It’s the delicious scent of pizza and pasta. I’m hungry already, and it’s not even 10am! I hope you all had a good flight. I saw that a few of you have started reading Love & Gelato already, so I’m sure you’re in the mood for some, well, love and gelato! Be prepared to fall in love with the magnificent Colosseum and the Pantheon, and we’ll also be seeing Michelangelo’s famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. It’s going to be a warm day today, so we’ll definitely be stopping off at all the best gelato places in the city. I dibs passionfruit flavour!
Hunting Prince Dracula / Bran, Romania
ROMANIA! We are in you! It’s a cold, misty day, so it’s perfect to wander around the castles hearing stories about Dracula, then to curl up by the fire with a hot chocolate and Hunting Prince Dracula. Romania is one of my favourite places in the entire world, and I’m sure you’ll all fall in love with the hills and the forests, and, of course, the stories of ghosts and vampires. We’ll be swapping spooky stories after dark while we do some star gazing, so come prepared to be thoroughly creeped out!
City of Saints & Thieves / Nairobi, Kenya
Wow, how cool is that change of scenery here in Kenya? It’s very different from what we just saw in Romania! Kanya is such an underrated holiday destination, but it’s absolutely beautiful. From Nairobi, we’re going to be heading out on a wildlife safari. Bring your camera, because we hope to see some lions, elephants, rhinos and maybe some other animals if you’re lucky. I hope you’re all excited!
Darius the Great is Not Okay / Tehran, Iran
Welcome to Iran! I hope you’re all excited to be here to take in the sights and eat all the delicious food described in Darius the Great is Not Okay. There are some absolutely magnificent places to visit while we’re in Tehran, so first we’ll be wandering around the Grant Bazaar, then we’ll head to Azadi Tower in the afternoon, then top it all off with a trip up the mountain in a sky lift to take in the glorious views, like that scene on the cover of Darius the Great. Get ready to reenact that shot for bookstagram!
The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali / Dhaka, Bangladesh
We’re officially halfway through our epic world book tour! I hope you all managed to get some rest on the flight and are ready for another action-packed day. Today, we’ll be exploring the capital of Bangladesh! Dhaka is such a vibrant, bustling city that I’m sure you’ll absolutely adore. We’re going to start off by exploring all the markets and the crowded streets to try some different cuisines, then we’ll be taking a little boat ride, followed by exploring some of the most famous buildings in the city! Don’t forget to strike a pose like Rukhsana Ali while you’re here!
Warcross / Tokyo, Japan
HELLOOOOO TOKYO! Land of soy sauce and Mothra! Tokyo has been dubbed the “New York City” of Japan by tourists on this world book tour before, but it’s so much more than the bright lights at Shibuya Crossing and the busy streets! Here, we’ll be soaking up the stunning views from Tokyo Skytree, followed by a stroll through the famous Imperial Palace. And, in the style of Warcross, we’ll also be taking a look around Akihabara, the famous video game district!
Freedom Swimmer / Hong Kong
Hong Kong, here we are! This is one of my favourite places, and yes, that might be because I’m a little bit obsessed with Disneyland. How could we come here and not go?! But before we make out way out to the theme park for the day, first we’ll be taking a boat ride across the river to get our bearings in the city, followed by a little bit of shopping. We might even spot a bookstore along the way if we’re lucky! There’s also be some time to sit down at Victoria Peak to read some of Freedom Swimmer while taking in the view of the city.
The Sun is Also a Star / New York City, USA
New York — the city that never sleeps! I don’t think we’ll be getting much sleep tonight either, seeing as we’ve got so much to pack into our one short day here. Between napping and eating on the plane, I hope you got to read some of The Sun is Also a Star. Now I’m sure you’re all in the mood for exploring this huge city! First up, we’ll be walking through Central Park, all the way down Broadway and then to Times Square. Then we’ll be jumping on the subway and catching a ferry to Liberty Island! How exciting!
Field Notes on Love / San Francisco, USA
Like the characters in Field Notes on Love, I’m sure we could all easily spend a week travelling across America. There’s just so much to see! But after flying across the country, today we’re spending the day in San Francisco. This stop is definitely a highlight for a lot of travellers! We’ll be able to reenact Tommy’s tram ride from The Room, check out Alcatraz, and snap some photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we’ll be feasting on burgers and milkshakes for dinner. I’m hungry already!
Summer Bird Blue / Honolulu, Hawaii
Can you believe our tour is almost at an end? For our penultimate stop, we’ll be exploring Hawaii for the day. We’ll be trekking around the smaller islands to see the crystal clear water and the huge volcanos, followed by a helicopter ride to take in the sights from the sky, and then to top it all off, we’ll be relaxing on the beach while reading Summer Bird Blue and sipping on smoothies! Hawaii is such a magical place, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to spend a lifetime here. But alas, tomorrow we’re heading off to Australia!
Gap Year in Ghost Town / Melbourne, Australia
We’ve made it to our final stop on our world book tour! Wow, it’s hard to believe we’ve been together for over two weeks — I’m going to miss you all so much! But we still have one day left to wander the streets of Melbourne, try some coffee from the cute alleys, and keep an eye out for ghosts. I’m sure you all managed to finish reading Gap Year in Ghost Town on the long flight over! Melbourne is my hometown, so I’m so glad we’re ending out tour here.
And that’s it! Thank you so much for joining me on this epic world book tour! I hope you had an incredible journey, and I really hope I’ll bump into you all again soon. I’d love to come and visit some of your hometowns someday!
Which destination from my list would you most like to travel to? Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? What are some of your favourite novels set abroad? I’d love to know!